C&EN: Cold Fusion Died 25 Years Ago, But The Research Lives On

The cover story for Chemical & Engineering News take a hard look at where LENR stands today and its roots in Cold Fusion’s apparent death in 1989.

“Why would anyone have continued research or scientific interest after 27 years on any topic that was reported to be a mistake?”

Melvin H. Miles, electrochemist

Low Energy Nuclear Reaction

Andrea Rossi’s recent developments with his Ecat reactor has cast a new light on LENR (low energy nuclear reaction) research.  Often synonymous with “Cold Fusion,” widespread scientific and mainstream attention began with the assertions of Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, whom posited that  previously unknown kinds of nuclear reactions and excess heat of a large magnitude could be observed in certain electrochemical cells.

With these principles in mind, Melvin Miles and colleagues were among the first researchers to observe the temporally correlated production of helium and heat during LENR electrolytic experiments.  Miles’ work was groundbreaking in that it showed that the heat was related to some sort of nuclear effect.

Dr. Randell Mills and others reported significant excess heat from ordinary water cells with nickel electrodes, an energy which they deemed to be coming not from nuclear reactions, but from a new form of catalyzed shrinkage reaction via a remodeled form of the hydrogen atom, dubbed “hydrinos.”  Mills has gone on to try and distance himself from the Cold Fusion moniker to write his own model of quantum mechanics and start commercial production of his own energy source.

What is the correlation between nickel and hydrogen atoms that strongly hints at a low level nuclear reaction can occur with the proper catalysts?  Time will tell as a world dominated by massive fossil fuel consumption looks for new sources of renewable energy.

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